Stanley Kubrick‘s thirteen features are endlessly dissected and analyzed, but after passing away at the age of 70, one can’t help wonder what might have been. While we saw one of his potential features come to life with Steven Spielberg‘s A.I., easily the project that came closest to coming together for the director was Napoleon. The meticulously researched war epic was courting Jack Nicholson, who would go on to lead The Shining, but after the financial disappointments War & Peace and Waterloo, it was shelved.
While Spielberg and Baz Luhrmann might bring it to life in a different form, Gary Leva‘s 2007 documentary Lost Kubrick: The Unfinished Films of Stanley Kubrick heavily explores both this project, and another. The 20-minute documentary, now available online, features interviews with his collaborators discussing the aforementioned project and the Nazi drama Aryan Papers, which even started potential casting before it fell apart due to Schindler’s List.
Unfortunately the documentary doesn’t include various projects such as Downslope, One-Eyed Jacks, Foucault’s Pendulum, Shadow on the Sun, Lunatic at Large, Natural Child, I Stole 16 Million Dollars, The Burning Secret, Operation Mad Ball, The German Lieutenant, and more, but for those that want to see the pair that came the closest to production, it does the trick. As we dream of what Kubrick might have done, watch the documentary below, narrated by Malcolm McDowell:
Which of Stanley Kubrick’s unfinished films would you have most liked to see?